Electoral College bias and the 2020 presidential election.

Published on Oct 26, 2020in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America11.205
· DOI :10.1073/PNAS.2013581117
Robert S. Erikson49
Estimated H-index: 49
(Columbia University),
Karl Sigman22
Estimated H-index: 22
(Columbia University),
Linan Yao1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Columbia University)
Sources
Abstract
Donald Trump’s 2016 win despite failing to carry the popular vote has raised concern that 2020 would also see a mismatch between the winner of the popular vote and the winner of the Electoral College. This paper shows how to forecast the electoral vote in 2020 taking into account the unknown popular vote and the configuration of state voting in 2016. We note that 2016 was a statistical outlier. The potential Electoral College bias was slimmer in the past and not always favoring the Republican candidate. We show that in past presidential elections, difference among states in their presidential voting is solely a function of the states’ most recent presidential voting (plus new shocks); earlier history does not matter. Based on thousands of simulations, our research suggests that the bias in 2020 probably will favor Trump again but to a lesser degree than in 2016. The range of possible outcomes is sufficiently wide, however, to even include some possibility that Joseph Biden could win in the Electoral College while barely losing the popular vote.
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#1Jonathan R. Cervas (UCI: University of California, Irvine)H-Index: 2
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#1Dan S. FelsenthalH-Index: 1
#2Mosheh MaḥoverH-Index: 1
Representative Electoral Systems - Underlying Assumptions and Decision Rules.- Paradoxes Afflicting Electoral Procedures and Their Expected Probability.- Theory and Practice - Additional Considerations in Selecting a Voting Procedure.
#1Nicholas R. Miller (UMBC: University of Maryland, Baltimore County)H-Index: 18
An election inversion occurs when the candidate (or party) that wins the most votes from an electorate fails to win the most electoral votes (or parliamentary seats) and therefore loses the election. Public commentary commonly uses terms such as “reversal of winners,” “wrong winner,” “divided verdict,” and “misfire” to describe this phenomenon; the academic social choice literature adds such terms as “repre- sentative inconsistency,” “compound majority paradox,” “referendum paradox,” and “majori...
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The electoral college of voting system for the US presidential election is analogous to a coarse graining procedure commonly used to study phase transitions in physical systems. In a recent paper, opinion dynamics models manifesting a phase transition, were shown to be able to explain the cases when a candidate winning more number of popular votes could still lose the general election on the basis of the electoral college system. We explore the dependence of such possibilities on various factors...
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#2Jonathan Cervas (CMU: Carnegie Mellon University)H-Index: 2
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Democracy can fail to meet its ideals, and electoral institutions can intensify the failures. Unwanted outcomes include polarized institutions, unresponsive representatives, and the ability of a faction of voters to gain power at the expense of the majority. Various reforms have been proposed to address these problems, but their effectiveness is difficult to predict against a backdrop of complex network interactions. Here we suggest that systems-level modeling can help understand and optimize re...
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